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China, similarly to Japan and many Western countries, has an aging population and start-ups are waking up to huge market potential. With millennials too busy to look after their parents and retirement homes too expensive, there is a demand for alternatives. A little-known venture, Lanchuang is proving popular, targeting 30m users by 2021 and a Nasdaq listing. It launched a smart care system costing just 15 cents a day that offers a webcam, TV set, a voice assistant, and an SOS button. The Chinese government, after initial hesitancy, is finally convinced of the gap in the market and has just injected 25m yuan into the venture.
Why does this matter? In an aging and wealthier western world, we will be closely following the emergence of assistive technology start-ups. There’s room for these to expand beyond everyday care, too, as ventures are now discovering how tech can offer relief for a number of common old-age illnesses.
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